PVP Subtlety Rogue Guide WotLK 3.3.5a
  • Author: Nevermore
  • Date: August 26, 2022
  • Expansion: WotLK Classic

Welcome to Warcraft Tavern’s Subtlety Rogue PvP guide for Wrath of the Lich King! Subtlety Rogue represents one of the deadliest specializations in the game, often stalking the shadows, awaiting any unsuspecting prey. Subtlety Rogues deal extreme amounts of Physical Damage and Nature Damage to their targets while also possessing a large variety of crowd control abilities. However, they do not have access to any utility or self-sustain tools.

Masters in espionage and brutal assassination, Subtlety rogues effortlessly and tirelessly stalk the shadows. Born without a gift for magic, those individuals compensate for their mundane talents by making the best of their environment. Often brought up in shady boroughs and forced to live their early life as petty thieves, they are recruited by assassin guilds or even the mighty SI7 to be thoroughly trained into weapons of mass murder. Subtlety Rogues are proficient at dispatching their targets extremely fast, bursting them down in mere moments. They are also capable of CC locking a target for a very large amount of time. Sadly, with the release of WotLK, the amount of time that a Subtlety Rogue can keep his target completely in crowd control has been diminished.

This guide will teach you how to properly play Subtlety Rogue in PvP scenarios whether those might be battlegrounds, arenas, or the open world. To navigate to the different sections, just use the buttons at the top of the guide!

Subtlety Rogue Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Extremely Powerful Crowd-Control
    Subtlety Rogues have a large number of crowd control tools, effectively being able to CC-lock a target almost indefinitely. These include Sap, Cheap Shot, Kidney Shot, Blind, Garrote, Gouge, and Kick. If used correctly, you can almost permanently disable your target!
  • Powerful Burst Damage
    Subtlety Rogues are masters of the shadows, a fact emphasized by their most powerful abilities, Shadowstep and Shadow Dance. With the help of those abilities, and combined with their offensive strengths, they are capable of one-shotting a large variety of classes and specializations. Keep in mind, however, that while they do have this capacity, it requires very good energy management in order to pull it off!
  • Stealth Class
    As a Rogue, you are one of the few select classes that can enjoy the benefits of pure invisibility. With Stealth, you can stalk your enemies, carefully plan any ambush, and gather intel on the enemy faction. This mechanic instills fear in your enemies, forcing them to adopt a cautious play style. Aside from Battlegrounds and Arenas, you will fully enjoy the benefits of Stealth in the Open World, often finding yourself either scouting foreign territory or stalking unsuspecting prey.
  • Fun Playstyle
    Subtlety Rogue is an extremely fun class, even with its high difficulty level. You will experience pure adrenaline while playing this specialization, as you will often find yourself either one-shotting your targets or fighting tough battles. The specialization itself requires high APM, cautious planning and fast reactions, making it a breath of fresh air when compared to a mindless single-button-mashing specialization.

Weaknesses

  • No Self-Sustain
    While Subtlety Rogues have extreme amounts of burst potential and crowd control, they lack any form of self-sustain, often being forced to run away from their targets when heavily damaged. This can of course be mitigated with an abundant supply of food or a trusty healer!
  • Hard to Master
    Subtlety Rogue is one of the specializations that requires meticulous planning and an extreme reaction time, often being forced to perform a perfect sequence of abilities in order to eliminate their targets quickly. Since the class is based on energy, a resource that is a lot harder to manage than mana or rage, any mistake that you do will be hard to recover from and will surely halt your momentum.
  • Difficult to play against plate-wearing classes
    Subtlety Rogues are very powerful against most types of armor, however, they struggle to pierce targets that wear plate armor. Since plate-wearing classes are often extremely tanky and resilient, you will have a hard time bursting them. You will often find yourself simply dying in the process while they outlast you if you do not execute your combo perfectly.

Conclusion

We hope this guide has been able to help you decide if PvP Subtlety Rogue is the class/spec for you. Make sure to check out our other sections, such as talents, gear, gems etc., to get more information on how to improve your performance as a Subtlety Rogue in WotLK!

 

About the Author

Nevermore

Hey there folks, I am Nevermore and have been deeply passionate about WoW for more than a decade. Whether we talk about the hidden mysteries of Azeroth or the otherworldly Outland, my journey brought me here to share the things that I have experienced with you all.
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Miestro
Miestro
2 years ago

how much is the ideal hit rate for sub rouge for PvP?

Last edited by Miestro
Malphaz
Malphaz
Reply to  Miestro
2 years ago

5% – to hit with your abilities.
You will still miss normal attacks because of dual-wielding, but it’s ok

Last edited by Malphaz
Ontan
Ontan
2 years ago

Weird question but do you think it is okay to drop Deadliness? Does it really give that much damage?

Also, what about improved Evis?

Last edited by Ontan
Malphaz
Malphaz
Reply to  Ontan
2 years ago

I think it’s fine to experiment. Effectiveness of Deadliness depends on which gear you have.
That being said, I wouldn’t replace it. You’d need to add points to other talents to continue further down the talent tree.

Improved Eviscerate isn’t worth it. The base damage of that skill is low and often you’ll use other finishers.

Last edited by Malphaz
Paradox
Paradox
1 year ago

I have an undead rogue on Subtil , what weapons should i put on ? one dagger and axe ? one dagger and a sword ? one dagger and mace ? 2 daggers ? ?

Last edited by Paradox
Rnghero
Rnghero
Reply to  Paradox
1 year ago

MH slow dagger 1.8
off hand – any fast weapon 1.4 or 1.5, doesnt matter really

Last edited by Rnghero
Busyblazin
Busyblazin
Reply to  Paradox
1 year ago

For Off-hand – choose a dagger with 1.4 speed. Axes and fists with 1.5 are suitable for Orcs. Apply Crippling Poison on the off-hand weapon. Apply Mind-numbing Poison on the second off-hand weapon, if you have one (you should).

Last edited by Busyblazin
cowgoesmoo
cowgoesmoo
4 months ago

why do you need a slow main hand 1.8 and a fast off hand 1.4… wouldnt i just want the fastest hitting stuff on both at all times?

Datguy
Datguy
Reply to  cowgoesmoo
3 months ago

Fast offhand is for faster poison application slow main hand is because all of your main damage abilities Scale off your main hand weapon damage and the slower the weapon the higher the damage

Boogie
Boogie
Reply to  cowgoesmoo
3 months ago

Every hemo/sinister deals weapon damage plus X. You want as much damage as possible in your MH regardless.

Baron Bad
Baron Bad
3 months ago

What about race selection ?

DanielD
DanielD(@danield)
Admin
Reply to  Baron Bad
3 months ago

We’ve updated the guide, and it now has tips on race selection!

Michael
Michael
2 years ago

What about the total resiliance rating? Is there a meaningfull value?

Last edited by Michael
Malphaz
Malphaz
Reply to  Michael
2 years ago

Hi!

There’s no correct answer to this question, but here’s how you can decide and experiment. Remember that more resilience = less damage output (assuming you have access to equally good level pve gear)

Take 1000 as a starting point. From there, check if you’re always the one to be focused. If yes, go for more.
If someone from your team is being killed first all the time (maybe he’s a high priority target), you can afford more gear with damage, hence less resilience.

Assuming we’re talking about a Subtlety spec, I would assume your team is taking the hit first.

For battlegrounds it’s really up to how you play and how much messy situations you get in to.

Last edited by Malphaz
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